I had a conversation with my sister recently and we laughed that we never expected our faith walk to look anything like it has. We remarked that it, the walk, the life, the faith gets ugly. Sometimes there is pain we did not expect to come. Sometimes we cry tears that we did not count on crying as believers. We are faced with all manner of contradictions to the life that we were born to lead. The process of overcoming and believing isn’t very pretty, much like the birthing process we experienced as mothers. We were in our respective delivery rooms. There was no make-up (well, she had on a little---haha). There were no fancy garments; in fact, we had to get naked to give birth. We had to make ourselves vulnerable, expose our weakness and our pains to give birth to our children; and though that process was so very ugly…it got pretty in just a moment.
As John 16:21 so eloquently explains, “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”
However long or short the labor, though it is painful and ugly, when what we had been carrying for 40 weeks or so finally pushes its way out, all of the ugliness fades away in the beauty and newness of this life. Relieved of the temporary pain, we marvel at the child, so small and innocent, pure and light. We reckon that there is nothing quite as beautiful and miraculous as this. And our joy feels complete. The reality and complexity of life has always been one of the most demonstrative evidences of God to me. Ecclesiastes 11:5 explains it in this way,
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
We can explain and give names to things that God created but we, ourselves are incapable of creating anything that is original. If it is language where did sound come from? If it is music where did the material to create the instrument originate? If it is art who created the eye to see it? And if by chance, we were inclined to believe that life began by a spark or by a cell having no body, where then was its origin? Is it not God, the Creator all who has fashioned us all?
I began to think on these things recently, having given birth to a child I carried for well over 15 years or more. At times, I was in pain, embarrassed that my labor had been so long and that I had not given birth. I wanted to be the mom, who goes in and spits the baby out in record time. I carried the baby, The Lady’s Rage, in the womb of my heart and soul for so long that when the labor came, I barely knew it. It was a painful process carrying it, but I wanted the relief of giving birth. I no longer wanted its life inside of me, but outside of me. And so, the day came, The Lady’s Rage was born on April 1, 2013. She was a healthy baby girl, born to deliver a generation, born with purpose and born of God’s spirit. I am reminded of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her name had meant sorrow but she birthed a deliverer. While others marveled at her son, the Bible recounts her at many stages of Jesus’ life as “keeping all these things and pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 & 51)
In my heart, there had been many sorrows but God had used them all to bring deliverance. So often we find ourselves pregnant at the wrong time, in the wrong place and if we fear we will abort the child that has been given to us. We will say, “This is not the right time. I can’t be pregnant right now.” But if we allow the Spirit of God to help us through the walk, we can make it even if we waddle, even if our feet get swollen…even if we get ugly in the process…The Lord promises that it will get pretty at the end. Our responsibility is to carry it. To keep it in mind and in our hearts until the day comes.
I know that there are some people today who are feeling the hurt of relief, the pain of their labor; but I want to encourage you today to push through it until your baby comes forth. What God has given you to birth is for you and there is nothing that can stop the baby from coming forth except that you abort it through fear. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted in this moment. God is giving you the faith and the strength to push in your weakest moment and to press into the promises that He has for you. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up now. Just keep pushing! Your relief is right before you, your joy will be full and you will remember the hurt no more!
“Father, God, Thank you for your grace on us now. Give us the strength to persist and to push through the pain. Relieve us from our fears and make us willing and strong. Give us the faith to believe you at your word. Impossibilities do not limit your ability. Perform your word in us today according to your will. We believe you and we honor you with our faith today. You are the Lord and there is no other. Our confidence rest in you today and we are moved by your Spirit to declare your goodness and your mercy wherever we go. Let your light shine in our hearts today that others may witness your glorious nature. Thank you, Lord for your coming glory. Thank you, Lord for your favor. Thank you, Lord for restoration all around us. We give you the praise. For yours, is the kingdom and the glory and the honor forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen."